Serving Walworth, Jefferson, Waukesha, and Rock Counties
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Dr. Don Norman has been in practice since 1983. His background is varied. He has handled pastoral duties across several denominations and trained and practiced as a pastoral counselor. He's been the Clinical Director of a metropolitan hospital pastoral counseling service. He has spent the last two decades as an assistant then later became a tenured associate professor in the Counselor Education Department at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. During his tenure at UW-W, Dr. Norman taught marriage and family courses along with general mental health curriculum courses such as ethics, group therapy, and supervised practicum and internship sections.
His research in the latter part of his teaching career featured an interest in the brain’s impact on behavior and the use of neurofeedback (NFB) as a method for mental health care when traditional talk therapy was not effective. Dr. Norman holds a Ph.D. (Educational Psychology) from The University of Mississippi, Oxford and advanced degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, M.Div. and the University of Alabama – Birmingham, MAE (Marriage and Family Therapy Emphasis). He holds a certificate in Corporate Counseling from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Dr. Norman had the privilege of serving military service members as a Military and Family Life Consultant on assignments in the United States and in Europe. For several years, he was also a presenter within a cadre of professionals featured as keynote speakers for service member events across the United States.
Dr. Norman retired from his university teaching position in the spring of 2015, after nearly 17 years of service. He continues his professional life within his private practice (Pastoral and Family Therapy Services) and as a pastor of La Grange United Methodist Church. Dr. Norman is credentialed in Wisconsin as a Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC (#2876) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT (#653). He is a Clinical Fellow in the American Associate for Marriage and Family Therapy as well as an Approved Supervisor in the same national association.
My primary aim as a therapist is to help people have a better quality of life in relationship to others and in relationship with one’s self. My varied background as an educator and clergy person shows how I offer my services in a number of ways.
My faith traditions in my practice show that I value acceptance, non-judgment, and the importance of making room for others in the midst of their efforts to grow and change. My life as an academician and an educator has exposed me to a wide variety of research about what brings change and growth and how to facilitate such positive life conditions. My first question to those that seek my care is, “How can I help?” I strive to listen with a “beginner’s mind,” open to what is presented without the distractions of preconceived notions of what I see.
I gather both current and past history information and work with those who seek assistance to start constructing a narrative that makes sense and offers direction on how to move toward change and growth. I find it helpful to always understand the presenting concerns from a systems perspective, i.e., to see and understand the larger context of family, extended family, and the social context as these surround and influence the challenges facing help-seekers.
I always strive to work for change and growth in a time-efficient manner, using the strengths and resources of the help-seeker, identifying untried or underutilized change skills, and encouraging and coaching the help-seeker towards the better quality of life sought. At other times, the issues presented require looking at the larger challenges of life, e.g., “What meaning is there for me in life, or what decision is the right decision and how will I know?” More time in therapy is required in such instances.
Much of my early training was in the use of long-term psychotherapy methods, which I rarely use these days. However, on those occasions when the help seeker’s needs require such an extended approach, e.g., working through early life trauma or negative, entrenched ways of thinking about one’s self, I am very comfortable in taking this journey. In my work with individuals, couples, families, and groups, I keep my ethical obligations in awareness, always striving to bring my best in service of those who entrust me with their care.
Life adjustment issues
Blended family/step-family challenges
Blended family coaching – best initiated prior to joining families via partnership
Adolescent life adjustment
Managing, living with, and resolving anxiety*
Managing, living with, and resolving depression*
Life choices, finding meaning, and other existential life questions
Making sense of and resolving trauma
Spiritual reflection and dealing with the disappointments of religion
Sexuality – identity, compulsions, and partnership negotiations
Employee Assistance Services (contracts with FEI Behavioral Health, Cigna, Morneau Shepell [formerly Bensinger, DuPont & Associates], Empathia, and Military OneSource)
Grief, loss, and bereavement
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder*
Personality disorders, changing life-long habits/styles of life
Improving self-esteem, growing a stronger self
Specialty areas followed by an asterisk (*) indicate treatment options that in addition to using talk therapy, at times, may employ the use of non-talk therapy approaches such as HeartMath (a bio-feedback method that empowers individuals to use heart-centered breathing and visualization to learn self-regulation). Dr. Norman is a certified HeartMath provider.
Veteran’s issues - adjustment and reintegration after deployment